« PredošláPokračovať »
THE POET, THE OYSTER, &C.
THE POET, THE OYSTER, AND
An oyster, cast upon the shore,
Was heard,—though never heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded,
And worthy thus to be recorded :-
“Ah, hapless wretch! condemned to dwell
For ever in my native shell,
Ordained to move when others please,
Not for my own content or ease,
But tossed and buffeted about,
Now in the water and now out.
'Twere better to be born a stone,
Of ruder shape, and feeling none,
Than with a tenderness like mine,
And sensibilities so fine !
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
Fast rooted against every rub.'
The plant he meant grew not far off,
And felt the sneer with scorn enough:
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied:
•When, cry the botanists, and stare,
Did plants called sensitive grow there?'
No matter when—a poet's Muse is
To make them grow just where she chooses.
"You shapeless nothing in a dish,
You that are but almost a fish,
I scorn your coarse insinuation,
And have most plentiful occasion
To wish myself the rock I view,
Or such another dolt as you:
For many a grave and learned clerk,
And many a gay unlettered spark,
With curious touch examines me,
If I can feel as well as he;
And when I bend, retire, and shrink,
Says—“Well, 'tis more than one would think !”
Thus life is spent (oh fie upon't!)
In being touched, and crying-Don't!'
A Poet, in his evening walk,
O’erheard and checked this idle talk.
* And your fine sense,” he said, “and yours,
Whatever evil it endures,
Deserves not, if so soon offended,
Much to be pitied or commended.
Disputes, though short, are far too long,
Where both alike are in the wrong;
Your feelings in their full amount
Are all upon your own account.
'You, in your grotto-work enclosed,
Complain of being thus exposed;
Yet nothing feel in that rough coat
(Save when the knife is at your throat)
Wherever driven by wind or tide,
Exempt from every ill beside.
And as for you, my Lady Squeamish,
Who reckon every touch a blemish,
If all the plants that can be found
Embellishing the scene around,
Should droop and wither where they grow,
You would not feel at all—not you.
The noblest minds their virtue prove
By pity, sympathy, and love:
These, these are feelings truly fine,
And prove their owner half divine.'
His censure reached them as he dealt it,
And each by shrinking showed he felt it.
CLOSE by the threshold of a door nailed fast
Three kittens sat; each kitten looked aghast.
I, passing swift and inattentive by,
At the three kittens cast a careless eye;
Not much concerned to know what they did there,
Not deeming kittens worth a poet's care.
But presently a loud and furious hiss
Caused me to stop, and to exclaim, What's this ?'
When lo! upon the threshold met my view,
With head erect, and eyes of fiery hue,
A viper, long as Count de Grasse's queue.
Forth from his head his forked tongue he throws,
Darting it full against a kitten's nose;
Who having never seen, in field or house,
The like, sat still and silent as a mouse;
Only projecting, with attention due,
Her whiskered face, she asked him, “Who are you?'
On to the hall went I, with pace not slow,
But swift as lightning, for a long Dutch hoe;
With which well armed I hastened to the spot,
To find the viper, but I found him not.
And turning up the leaves and shrubs around,
Found only that he was not to be found.
But still the kittens, sitting as before,
Sat watching close the bottom of the door.
• I hope,' said I, “the villain I would kill
Has slipped between the door and the door sill;
And if I make dispatch, and follow hard,
No doubt but I shall find him in the yard :'
For long ere now it should have been rehearsed,
'Twas in the garden that I found him first.
Even there I found him, there the full grown cat
His head, with velvet paw, did gently pat:
As curious as the kittens erst had been
To learn what this phenomenon might mean.
Filled with heroic ardour at the sight,
And fearing every moment he would bite,
And rob our household of our only cat
That was of age to combat with a rat;
With outstretched hoe I slew him at the door,
And taught him NEVER TO COME THERE NO MORE.
ON THE LOSS OF THE ROYAL GEORGE.
WRITTEN WHEN THE NEWS ARRIVED,
BY DESIRE OF LADY AUSTEN, WHO WANTED WORDS
'TO THE MARCH IN SCIPIO.